NBA playoffs second-round predictions: Celtics, Heat to meet for East crown; Suns return to conference finals


After the Grizzlies‘ Game 6 clincher over the Timberwolves on Friday, the second round of the 2022 NBA playoffs is set. Bad news in the East: Khris Middleton is out for No. 3 Milwaukee’s series vs. No. 2 Boston, and Joel Embiid is out indefinitely with a fractured orbital bone and a concussion as the No. 4 Sixers set to take on the top-seeded Miami Heat.

Embiid won’t play Game 1, but if he clears concussion protocols and can find a way to play through the orbital fracture, he hasn’t been officially ruled out beyond that. In the West, it’ll be the No. 1 Suns vs. the No. 4 Mavericks, and the No. 2 Grizzlies vs. the No. 3 Warriors.

Below are our staff’s picks for each series.

Reiter’s pick: Heat in 5

Quinn’s pick: Heat in 5

Ward-Henninger’s pick: Heat in 5

Maloney’s pick: Heat in 7

Wimbish’s pick: Heat in 7

Botkin’s pick: Heat in 6

Herbert’s pick: Heat in 4

Kaskey-Blomain’s pick: Heat in 7

Reiter’s pick: Celtics in 7

Quinn’s pick: Celtics in 5

Ward-Henninger’s pick: Celtics in 7

Maloney’s pick: Celtics in 6

Wimbish’s pick: Celtics in 6

Botkin’s pick: Celtics in 7

Herbert’s pick: Celtics in 6

Kaskey-Blomain’s pick: Celtics in 6

1. Phoenix Suns vs. 4. Dallas Mavericks

Reiter’s pick: Suns in 6

Quinn’s pick: Suns in 7

Ward-Henninger’s pick: Suns in 5

Maloney’s pick: Suns in 7

Wimbish’s pick: Suns in 7

Botkin’s pick: Suns in 7

Herbert’s pick: Suns in 6

Kaskey-Blomain’s pick: Suns in 6

2. Memphis Grizzlies vs. 3 Golden State Warriors

Reiter’s pick: Warriors in 5

Quinn’s pick: Warriors in 5

Ward-Henninger’s pick: Warriors in 6

Maloney’s pick: Warriors in 5

Wimbish’s pick: Warriors in 6

Botkin’s pick: Warriors in 6

Herbert’s pick: Warriors in 6

Kaskey-Blomain’s pick: Warriors in 6

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